Udupi, Sep 20, 2019: The Mahiti Seva Samiti, a non-governmental organisation, has demanded that the pending compensation to be given to the affected persons under the first phase of the crude oil storage unit of the Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd. (ISPRL) at Padur and surrounding villages should be paid immediately before the second phase of the project is taken up.
Addressing presspersons here on Thursday, G.A. Koteyar, president of the samiti, said that ISPRL had set up the first phase of crude storage facility (cavern) in Padur to store 2.5 MMT (million metric tonnes) of crude oil and it was commissioned in December 2018. During the implementation of first phase, 57 houses in Padur village and 63 houses in Kalathur village were damaged due to rock blasting. The damage to these 120 houses put together was estimated at ₹ 1.06 crore. But the residents were still not paid proper compensation, he said.
Meanwhile, the Union government gave approval the establishment of the second phase of crude oil storage unit at Padur. The land required for the construction of the second phase was 210 acres located to the south-east of the existing facility at Padur, Kalathur and Shirva villages.
ISPRL had to carry out a detailed survey of the land which it intended to acquire. Hence, it sought the support of the district administration last month to carry out cadastral survey work in Padur, Kalathur and Shirva villages, he said.
Irene Thavro, a resident of Kalathur village, said that children in Padur and surrounding areas had to bear the sound of rock blasting for the crude oil facility, which was a frightening experience for them. Before this facility was set up, people were practising agriculture as the land at Padur and surrounding areas was fertile and grew paddy and other crops. “Now we cannot even grow a sack of paddy. The elected representatives have failed us,” she said.
Praveen Corado, a resident of Chandranagar, said that there were many poor people with houses on five cents of land provided by the government at Kalathur decades ago. “If their land is acquired, where will they go and build their houses? The only solution to this problem is adequate compensation by the government to the land losers,” he said.
“If the government to fails to take action in these matters, we will launch an agitation,” Mr. Koteyar warned.